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Is the Turning Driver Always at Fault for a Left-Turn Accident?

Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Aug 27, 2020 in Car Accidents

left turn sign during daytimeIt is important to understand when attempting to make a left turn you must always yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and proceed with caution when it is safe to do so. Mistakes during these types of turns can result in serious accidents and may cause severe injuries.

Determining who is at fault for these accidents can be complicated without the help of a licensed attorney who has experience working on these types of cases.

If you or a loved one was injured in a left-turn collision, we recommend seeking the legal services of a qualified attorney from Goldberg Finnegan. Our firm has been protecting the rights of the injured in Maryland for over 20 years.  

Learn if you may qualify for compensation by setting up a Free Case Review with one of our experienced attorneys. We charge you zero fees to discuss your claim and there is no obligation to hire us. We only get paid if you do.

Assessing Fault in a Left-Turn Collision

In order to recover compensation for a car crash claim, you must be able to prove the other driver was at fault for the collision. (In Maryland, the other driver must be 100 percent at fault, or you are barred from recovering compensation.)

Maryland’s right of way laws help the police, insurance companies and attorneys assess fault for left-turn accidents.

Unless the driver who is making the left turn has the green arrow on traffic light, he or she must always yield to other vehicles before proceeding. Generally, drivers must wait until there is no oncoming traffic or the traffic is a safe distance away. It is never safe to assume the oncoming vehicles will slow down while you are making a left turn.

Cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists who are already in the intersection have the right of way. Watch for pedestrians before you make your turn – if they are in the crosswalk, they likely have the right of way, including on the street you are turning left onto. Even if a pedestrian is jaywalking, it is possible you could be found partially liable for the crash.

When the Other Driver Could be Found Liable?

There are instances when a driver making a left turn may not be liable for causing a collision. Some examples may include when the turning driver has the left-turn arrow and the oncoming driver runs a red light.

If the oncoming driver was speeding, intoxicated, running a stop sign or distracted, he or she may be found liable for the crash.  

If you need help determining whether you have a valid case, contact a Silver Spring car accident lawyer at Goldberg Finnegan for a free consultation.

Elements of Negligence in a Car Crash Claim

As the plaintiff, it is up to you and your lawyer to establish the four elements of negligence were present:

  • The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care – All drivers are required to follow traffic laws to help prevent accidents that could cause injuries.
  • The at-fault-driver breached his or her duty of care – Speeding, running a red light, driving while under the influence, or driving while distracted are all examples of a driver breaching his or her duty of care.
  • Causal linkage exists – The breach of duty directly caused your injuries. In other words, your injuries would not have occurred without the breached duty of care.
  • Damages were created – This means your injuries resulted in medical bills, lost income from missing work, physical pain and psychological suffering and/or property damage.

Consult a Licensed Attorney About Your Car Crash

If you or someone you care for was injured in a car crash, it is important to discuss your situation with a licensed attorney.

The attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan have a proven track record of securing verdicts and settlements. We charge you nothing to discuss the details of your case in a free initial consultation and we do not bill you unless we win compensation on your behalf.

Goldberg Finnegan is here to help. Call (888) 213-8140 with your questions.

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